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Appeals court rules that pork producers must continue to pay checkoff assessments

(Monday, Nov. 18, 2002 -- CropChoice news) -- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit last Friday granted a request for stay which allows the pork checkoff program to continue without interruption while the appeal is pending.

An Oct. 25 decision by a District Court in Michigan ruled that the Pork Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act is unconstitutional and directed that the collection of assessments and operation of the National Pork Board cease by Nov. 24, 2002. However, the stay postpones implementation of the Michigan decision and the pork checkoff program will continue to operate and conduct operations as normal during the pendency of the appeal. This stay was requested by the Department of Justice on behalf of USDA.

In accordance with this court order, the pork promotion and research program will remain in effect and pork producers and importers must continue to pay pork checkoff assessments. Producers and importers who fail to pay the assessment may be subject to late payment charges and civil penalties.